Music & Resources

Course B – Michele Sharik, Instructor

Handbell Techniques

 

Level 1

Course B1 – Handbell Techniques examines basic handbell and handchime ringing and damping techniques, with an emphasis on ergonomic principles and sound production.

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification
curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Distinguish and identify major muscle groups of the hands, arms, legs, and back and explain how these muscle groups work together and separately to move the hands, arms, and legs, and to provide a means for balancing the body as it moves through space
  • Describe handbell and handchime sound production and how it relates to handbell and handchime ringing and damping techniques;
  • Demonstrate stance, seat, and stroke;
  • Demonstrate shoulder and table damping;
  • Demonstrate the ring-hook technique;
  • Demonstrate bell/chime changes in one or both hands;
  • Demonstrate a bell/chime pass hand-to-hand and ringer-to-ringer; and
  • Describe modifications or adaptations of the above with regard to bass handbells and chimes.

Recommended Texts

  • Berry, Susan. Healthy Ringing: for Handbells and Handchimes. Dearborn, MI:   Handbell Services, 2000.
  • Conable, Barbara. What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body: the Practical Application of Body Mapping to Making Music. Portland, OR: Andover, 2000.
  • Parsons, Thomas. Bass Bell Techniques.  Albuquerque, NM: From the Top, 2006.
  • Sue, Larry. The Bass Ringer’s Notebook. Beverly Hills, CA: Distributed by Above the Line Publishing, 2007.
  • Handbell Techniques with Michèle Sharik. DVD. West Hollywood, CA: Above The Line Publishing, 2011.

Level 2

Course B2 – Handbell Techniques examines basic multiple-instrument handbell and handchime ringing and damping techniques (commonly known as “weaving”) as well as handbell and handchime articulation techniques. Special attention will be given to identifying current and historical notational conventions for the various handbell and handchime articulation techniques, as well as to principles of ergonomics and sound production.
Pre-requisite: Course B1 – Handbell Techniques

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification
curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Describe principles of ergonomics and sound production related to weaving;
  • Demonstrate how to ring and damp multiple bells in any sequence;
  • Describe and demonstrate each of the three primary mallet grips for holding one mallet in each hand (the French, German, and American grips) and the four primary mallet grips for holding two mallets in each hand (the Traditional, Burton, Musser-Stevens, and Fulcrum grips), including the specific ergonomic concerns of each, plus the advantages and disadvantages of each in relation to handbell articulation techniques;
  • Describe and demonstrate the ergonomic execution of the following handbell articulation techniques: Mallets on the table, Suspended mallets, Mallet rolls (both suspended and on the table), Pluck, Tap-Pluck, Pluck-Lift, Thumb Damp,
    Hand Damp, Shake, Martellato, Mart-Lift, Hand Mart, Swing, Echo, Gyro, Shimmer or Vibrato, Ring-Touch, and Singing Bell, plus describe circumstances under which one articulation technique might be appropriately substituted for another;
  • Describe and demonstrate modifications or adaptations, if any, of the above for handchimes; and
  • Identify current and historical notational conventions for each of these techniques.

Required Text:
Handbell/Handchime Notation. Dayton, OH:
AGEHR Music, 2010.

Recommended Text:

  • Berry, Susan. Healthy Ringing: for Handbells and Handchimes. Dearborn, MI:  Handbell Services, 2000.
  • Stephenson, Valerie. Coordination Conundrums. Nashville, TN: Shawnee Press. 1999.
  • Handbell Techniques with Michèle Sharik. DVD. West Hollywood, CA: Above The Line Publishing, 2011.

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Level 3

Course B3 – Handbell Techniques examines multiple-instrument in-hand handbell ringing and damping techniques (commonly known as “four-in-hand” and “six-in-hand”).  Special attention will be given to principles of ergonomics and sound production, identifying notational conventions for these techniques, and considerations for adapting these techniques for use with handchimes.
Pre-requisite: Course B2 – Handbell Techniques

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ergonomic execution of each of the four-in-hand techniques for handbells (“Shelley,” “Ring and Push,” “British/Japanese-style,” “Reverse Ring and Push,” “Interlocked Ring and Push,” and “Interlocked British/Japanese-style”), including ringing together and separately, damping, articulations, and changes to the primary and secondary instruments;
  • Demonstrate the methods of four-in-hand appropriate for use with handchimes;
  • Identify notational conventions for four-in-hand techniques;
  • Demonstrate the ergonomic execution of each of the six-in-hand techniques for handbells (“The Claw,” Japanese-style,” and “Interlocked”), including ringing together and separately, damping, articulations, and changes to the primary, secondary, and tertiary instruments;
  • Demonstrate methods of six-in-hand appropriate for use with handchimes; and
  • Identify notational conventions for six-in-hand techniques.

Required Text:
Handbell/Handchime Notation. Dayton, OH:  AGEHR Music, 2010.

Recommended Text:

  • Berry, Susan. Healthy Ringing: for Handbells and Handchimes. Dearborn, MI:  Handbell Services, 2000.
  • Handbell Techniques with Michèle Sharik. DVD. West Hollywood, CA: Above The Line Publishing, 2011.

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